War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0093 Chapter IX. ENGAGEMENT AT BIG BETHEL, VA.

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sequently occupied by the enemy. This work was soon again occupied with another piece by Captain Brown, who resumed and effective fire. Captain Bridgers deserves the highest praise for this timely act of gallantry.

The Louisiana regiment arrived after the battle was over, having made a most extraordinary march. They returned to Yorktown the same night, making a distance of twenty-eight miles. It was not thought prudent to leave Yorktown exposed any longer. I therefore occupied the ground whit cavalry, and marched the remainder of my force to Yorktown. We took several prisoners, among them some wounded.

Our means of transportation were exceedingly limited, but the wounded enemy were carried our own wounded to farm houses in our rear, where the good people, who have lost almost everything by this war, and who could see the smoking ruins of their neighbors' houses, destroyed by the enemy both in his advance and retreat, received them most kindly and bound up their wounds. I also ordered the humane Captain Brown to bury as many of the enemy's dead as could be found near our camp, which was done.

The cavalry pursued the enemy for fire miles, but were stopped by the bridges across Back River at New Market, which was destroy by the flying enemy after crossing it.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. MAGRUDER,

Colonel, Commanding.

Numbers 8. Report of Colonel D. H. Hill, First North Carolina Infantry.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from the colonel commanding, I marched on the 6th instant, with my regiment and four pieces of Major Randolph's battery, from Yorktown, on the Hampton road, to Bethel Church, nine miles from Hampton. We reached there after dark on a wet night, and slept without tents. Early on the morning of the 7th I made a reconnaissance of the ground, preparatory to fortifying. I found a breach for Back River on our front, and encircling our right flank. On our left was a dense and almost impassable wood, except about one hundred and fifty yards of old field. The breadth of the road, a thick wood, and narrow cultivated field covered our rear. The nature of the ground determined me to make an inclosed work, and I had the invaluable aid of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, of my regiment, in its plan and construction. Our position had the inherent defect of being commanded by an immense field immediately in front of it, upon which the masses of the enemy might be readily deployed. Presuming that an attempt would be made to carry the bridge across the stream, a battery was made for its especial protection, and Major Randolph placed his guns so as to sweep all the approaches to it. The occupation of two commanding eminences beyond the creek and on our right would have greatly strengthened our position, but our force was too weak to admit of the occupation of more than one for them. A battery was laid out on it for one of Randolph's howitzers. We had only twenty-five spades, six axes, and three picks, but these were busily plied all day and night of the 7th and all day on the 8th. On the afternoon of the I learned that a marauding arty of the enemy was within a few miles of us. I called for a party of third-four men to drive them back. Lieutenant Roberts,